Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A group of Republican senators are refusing to attend a session, denying Democrat senators the quorum required to pass a climate change bill.
Oregon Republicans are on the lam to avoid voting on a major climate change bill
“Send bachelors and come heavily armed,” one Republican state senator warned police.
By Umair Irfan Updated Jun 21, 2019, 3:58pm EDT
Democratic Gov. Kate Brown authorized state police to find the lawmakers and bring them back. They are each being fined $500 for every day there aren’t enough senators for a vote. (So far, it’s been two days.) Oregon State Police said they are also coordinating with law enforcement agencies in nearby states to find the Republicans.
Brown lamented the stunt to avoid passing the bill. “It would have been historic for Oregon, historic for the country, and frankly historic for the world,” she said during a press conference Thursday. “Unfortunately, Senate Republicans have failed to show up and failed to do their jobs.”
Republicans were defiant, however. Oregon Senate Republican leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. said in a statement that Republicans were being “bullied by the majority party.”
Another state senator in hiding, Brian Boquist, went further, threatening the police who are trying to round up the wayward lawmakers. “Send bachelors and come heavily armed,” he said. “I’m not going to be a political prisoner.”
…Read more: https://www.vox.com/2019/6/21/18700741/oregon-republican-walkout-climate-change-bill
What an overreaction.
Is sending armed police after senators, initiating a multi-state search, really the optics Oregon wants for their flagship carbon cap and trade bill? Is not attending really an offence which warrants arrest with the threat of deadly force? Have Oregon state police been issued with a warrant for the arrest of the Republican senators?
Why don’t Oregon Democrats just wait a few weeks, let the Republican senators make their protest, maybe cut a few concessions to bring them back to the table?